Sometimes small pranks can balloon into elaborate ones through simple escalation. For example:

The High School I went to had many different student clubs. In order to form a club all you needed was a faculty member to "sponsor" it. My Senior year two clubs formed. "The Student Republican Caucus" and "The Screaming Liberals". Now as official clubs they could get permission to place posters on the walls of the hallways informing students about meetings and club events. These two clubs soon resorted to attacking each other in their posters. A small group of us found this to be hilarious and began wondering how far it could go.

To this end we began putting up posters of our own creating several fictitious clubs (none of which officially existed, or ever met, or even had real members):
The Irish Republican Caucus: Thought that the student republican caucus was doing ok, but wasn't right wing enough.

The Marxist Insurgency: A fanatical communist party

The Student Uprising for Anarchy: "Anarchy Now!, no we really mean it this time!"

The Moderate People's Front: "Congress does nothing, the President does nothing, neither do we."

The loyal order of (some Arabic words I can't remember): A radical Islamic sect calling a Jihad on the school administration.
Many people found these posters hilarious, some found the offensive. One of the vice principals was Jewish and took the Islamic posters as being anti-Semitic (although no religious group had beened mentioned), both of the "legit" clubs didn't like the posters because of the obvious lampooning. However we would not stop despite numerous attempts to silence us. The more the school administration would do to try and dissuade us the more we'd push back. It started by having all posters to be placed in the halls being approved by a faculty member, recieving a stamp. The janitors had strict instructions to take anything that didn't have the stamp down. We learned to duplicate this stamp as a computer graphic, and placed it into all of our posters. Some of us were suspected and got called into the office. We were pretty much questioned, warned (the vice principal then told me about the Jewish thing, and informed me about the "separation of church and state", and that these Islamic posters (which actually we're thought up by a friend of mine and I had very little to do with anyway) were in violation of this). The Islamic order responded by a poster which requested the release of "the following political prisoners" along with very long list of names of students and faculty (all names except two, mine and a teacher's were chosen randomly out of last year's yearbook). As more posters kept going up the administration started calling people off this list into the offices. People asked me how they got on, or why they weren't on the list. However I myself had nothing to do with that "faction's" posters. The administration got more restrictive, however it would all blow up in our faces eventually. Shortly after my interrogation by the administration posters, approved by the administration, started going up for the local Baptist Church's yearly "Raft Rally". Seeing as this thing was a church activity we decided to side with what the administration had told us before and aid in the "separation". We got utility knives and would cut them down, or just plain rip them down with out hands. The larger posters would be carved up leaving strips of paper carnage hanging by staples from the walls. Apparently someone saw me doing this and turned me into the administration. After arguing my point with the vice-principal I was told "it's tradition, what I say goes, you're suspended for one day for vandalism". Outraged I took my one day of suspension and we began again with renewed vigor. We were more discreet but just as prolific, we published an "underground newspaper" whose cover featured a close-up of a bathroom stall, the "school paper" streaming off the roll where the toilet paper should be. What started innocently enough had escalated beyond just me and a few friends, and affected the policy of the next school year...
In Australian youth slang, to prank someone means to dial their mobile phone, then hang up before they pick up.

It does not necessarily mean doing so in a malevolent way; rather it is a way to avoid exorbitant mobile charges when a person picks up; since phone companies do not charge if the receiver does not answer.

It is used as a verb, e.g., "I'll prank you when I get to your place and you can come down."

Prank (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Pranked (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Pranking.] [Cf. E. prink, also G. prangen, prunken, to shine, to make a show, Dan. prange, prunke, Sw. prunka, D. pronken.]

To adorn in a showy manner; to dress or equip ostentatiously; -- often followed by up; as, to prank up the body. See Prink.

In sumptuous tire she joyed herself to prank. Spenser.


© Webster 1913.

Prank, v. i.

To make ostentatious show.

White houses prank where once were huts. M. Arnold.


© Webster 1913.

Prank, n.

A gay or sportive action; a ludicrous, merry, or mischievous trick; a caper; a frolic.


The harpies . . . played their accustomed pranks. Sir W. Raleigh.

His pranks have been too broad to bear with. Shak.


© Webster 1913.

Prank, a.

Full of gambols or tricks.



© Webster 1913.

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